We are in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, less than 50 km from Florence, in the hilly landscape of the Chianti area. Here, the GEZA Architettura studio founded by architects Stefano Gri and Piero Zucchi created the project for the new production plant and offices of Furla, a well-known Italian brand of bags and accessories. As part of Furla Progetto Italia – the name of the company's new headquarters – the international landscape consulting firm LAND took on an important challenge: the inclusion of the production plant in the Chianti hills, in a landscape of great value.
The views of the rolling hills planted with vines, the ancient settlements of this unique territory with the long rows of cypresses that mark borders and paths, are some of the key elements perceived from the reading of the landscape and from the history of these places, the first and fundamental step from which – as landscape architect Andreas Kipar co-founder and CEO of LAND explains – every project carried out by the studio starts.
It is precisely from these elements that the architects drew inspiration to create "a new productive landscape that respects the context and prioritises the well-being of its users", as landscape architect Andreas Kipar adds.
In fact, there are three fundamental elements of LAND's proposal – the access road, the terraces for the car parks and Piazza Furla – which contribute to enhancing the project of the new Furla headquarters conceived by GEZA Architettura, consisting of three main buildings (offices, laboratory and logistics) integrated into the site and characterised by a high degree of permeability to the local context.
An orderly row of cypresses recalls the typical driveway of Tuscan villas and creates a path where the buildings are arranged in a harmonic succession of floors and levels, dedicated to the different business functions, and concluding in Piazza Furla. The square is the focal and panoramic point of the entire headquarters, as well as a meeting place for the different types of users. Indeed, from here it is possible to access both the management offices and the production area. At different points of the project the boundaries between architecture and landscape merge and nature enters the building, as in the sequence of offices punctuated by landscaped patios that offer themselves as spaces for informal or business collaboration, where users can immerse themselves and contemplate the surrounding landscape.
The choice of native plant species suitable for the local climate, resistant to atmospheric agents and pathogens, which require low maintenance and very little watering, is part of the need to enhance the rural character of the site. For the very same reason, a number of centuries-old oaks already present in the area were preserved and integrated into the project. Moreover, the presence of the parking lot has been mitigated thanks to the integration with the nearby forest and, in general, solutions have been implemented that push users to rediscover and value the beauty that surrounds them, as illustrated by Fernando Guerra's photographic exposé.
Images courtesy of LAND, photo ©FernandoGuerra
Client: Furla Progetto Italia, FC Immobiliare S.p.A.
Architects: GEZA Architettura
Area Size: Total area: 43,000 m2; green area: 16,000 m2 of which 900 m2 wall unit
Project: LAND Italia https://www.landsrl.com/
Team: Andreas Kipar, Luisa Bellini, Valerio Bozzoli, Cecilia Ricci, Francesca Villa, Laura Mantegazza, Gianna Galgani
Photos: © Fernando Guerra